Donald Clarke

Whingeing about cinema and real life since 2009

Shane Hegarty’s Darkmouth gets a director

The adaptation of the former Irish Times’ journalist fantasy novel chugs towards the big league

Tue, Mar 14, 2017, 21:40


There was a time when Shane Hegarty hovered over these pages with a threatening (but usually benign) blue pencil. Now the former arts editor and TV critics of The Irish Times toils fruitfully in the fantasy mines. The first of his Darkmouth series of novels — concerning a Joseph Campbellian lad called Finn who fights demons from the Infested Side — secured Shane a sufficiently large advance to allow escape from the booming world of print journalism. He has since delivered three books in the series and a fourth tome is on the way. In early 2015 it emerged that the film rights had been secured by Alcon Entertainment. “Obviously I am delighted by this news,” Mr Hegarty told this writer at the time. “Having spent two years working on it, the idea that it will be up on the big screen is beyond my expectation.”

We all know that, even in such promising circumstances, films can be dispatched to development hell. This has not been the case. We learn today that the picture is to be an animated release and that it will be directed by David Pimentel and Douglas Sweetland. Both men have deep experience in the animation industry. Pimentel was head of story on Disney’s recent smash Moana and also worked as story artist on the lovely Big Hero 6. Sweetland worked on such Pixar productions as Monsters Inc, Cars and The Incredibles.  Simon Brooks of Canyon Creek Films will join Kira Davis and Craig Peck of 8:38 in the producers’ chairs. These things take time. But we look forward with eagerness to that big-screen Darkmouth action in a year or so.

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